For the modern career seeker, having a visually compelling résumé is important. This importance is magnified for anyone with a career involving multimedia in any form. Whether you are a graphic designer, video editor, or writer, having a simple way to provide a resume and basic portfolio in one simple package is a great way to stand out from the crowd and catch the eye of potential employers. VisualCV is a new service that provides users with a free way to create a multimedia résumé so you can spend more time finding work than making your résumé.
VisualCV allows users to integrate standard resume sections such as employment history with non-traditional components such as video and document attachments. The service has partnered with a number of well-known businesses to allow users opportunities to share their new, dynamic resume with a variety of potential employers. Read on to learn more about the specific features and how it compares to other online résumé services.
Creating a Standard Resume
VisualCV starts from the very bare-bones of a résumé. Before you can even begin to get into the nitty-gritty details, it requests that you enter in at least one employer and one educational institution. There are also sections to enter your general career information (things like areas of work experience and desired salary) as well as your basic contact information. Once the basics are out of the way, you’re taken to the area where you can begin to really edit and add to your résumé.
Unlike the first page you see when you navigate to the site, the pages for working on and viewing your resume are generally simple and easy to work with. The basic editor that is provided for working on your résumé is extremely straight-forward. At the top you have a variety of sections to choose from to add to your resume. Elements are simple to drag and drop into the résumé, so you can rearrange and add sections to make the résumé truly your own.
VisualCV also does a great job of providing you with the opportunity to enter a great amount of information into the standard résumé section if you’d like, but almost no fields are ever required. When entering a section in the employment history, for example, you are able to enter details down to the address of the business and the company’s website. None of the sections are required, however, and when viewing the résumé most of the minor details are hidden unless the section is expanded.
Going Beyond the Standard Résumé
While the standard résumé sections provided by VisualCV are easy to use, they aren’t anything particularly special. The benefits of VisualCV are really found in the sections that you either wouldn’t see or couldn’t see on a standard printable résumé. The “portfolio” section is by and large the most exciting and compelling feature provided. In the portfolio section you are able to add images, documents, video and audio files.
In addition to being able to upload any acceptable file from your personal computer for use in the resume, VisualCV has also partnered with services such as Youtube and SlideShare Presentations to allow the embedding of already existing files in the résumé. Most design professionals will already have an existing portfolio, but don’t disregard the portfolio section. This is a great place to have a very curated selection of portfolio pieces to encourage potential employers to actually click through to your website that may be featured prominently on your portfolio. You are able to add up to three types of websites in the basic contact information which is shown at the beginning of the resume.
Another feature VisualCV offers that you don’t often see is the multitude of sections available. VisualCV offers sections that are found on any resume (statement, work history and education) but also adds a number of sections that wouldn’t even be necessary for most resumes. Sections like security clearances, certifications and more are all available by default. If you are unable to find an appropriately designed/titled section, don’t worry. All section titles can be changed, and VisualCV even offers a way to create custom sections.
With the number of different ways to publish résumés and portfolios online, VisualCV might appear redundant at first glance. However, a few things really set this app apart from the rest. The first is, of course, the ability to place multimedia items directly on the resume. While there are certainly resume hosting sites and job-hunting sites that allow links to external sites or even secondary pages that host media, VisualCV is, to the best of my knowledge, the only app that really focuses on placing multimedia on the main resume page.
The partnerships that VisualCV offers are also a big selling point. Once your résumé is finished, VisualCV uses your career field interests and experiences to point you to jobs in your location. If a company partnered with VisualCV has a job available you are able to communicate with them directly. The site has partnered with big name businesses such as Microsoft and is constantly growing the number of partnerships available.
Finally, the simple ease of use is a huge plus. Oftentimes resume sites that offer all of the features available in VisualCV are cumbersome and difficult to understand. VisualCV provides a set of extremely intuitive tools, making it simple to create a full-featured and customized résumé.
VisualCV provides a very solid service. The final products are great and the sheer number of ways to customize your resume are incredible if a bit overwhelming. The few complaints I have are generally aesthetic. The interface can be a bit clunky and appears dated at times, and the home page (pre sign-up/log-in) is a mess at best. Occasional aesthetic problems aside, however, I love the app.
I can’t wait to use VisualCV as a new way to market myself online. While I don’t know if I’ll stick with the service forever, it’s a great way to present a sampling of my work and experience. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried VisualCV? Do you have an alternative that you prefer?